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I haven't asked NRB to delay Monetary Policy: FM



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By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, July 30: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma said on Thursday that Ministry of Finance (MoF) did not ask the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to delay the Monetary Policy for the current Fiscal Year 2021/22 and instead requested to help in facilitating the economic revival through innovative programmes.
“Central bank is an autonomous body. I never halted the Monetary Policy, however I have requested the NRB Governor to design it in a way to address public expectation and continue the earlier programmes of business and economic rehabilitation,” he said in an interaction with the Nepalese Association of Financial Journalists (NAFIJ).
There was a practice to announce the Monetary Policy in the first week of the Nepali month Shrawan (third week of July) but the central bank has not published it yet and there are news reports in some media blaming the Finance Minister for the delay.
“My concern is that no citizen should be deprived of the facilities and relief programmes executed by the government and the NRB. I said to the governor that apart from it there are no concerns, you design the policy on your own,” said FM Sharma. “I think it is my responsibility to express public concerns to the central bank.”
He also said that his plan to bring out a white paper on the economy was not to pinpoint someone’s mistakes but to present the picture of the economy when he accepted the responsibility of the Finance Ministry. “I just want to inform people about the latest economic scenario. It’s not about presenting or defeating villains to make oneself a hero, it’s not about acting in a cinema,” he said.
Stating that he was overburdened with the public expectations from the present government, FM Sharma said, “I do not have enough time to work while there is no situation to do much. But with the support and suggestions
from the experts and concerned stakeholders, I am planning to make changes in the economy.”
He is planning to design policy and programmes to convert the consumer-based economy to the production-based one. He also urged one and all to contribute to the economic revival and development of the nation.
“Time is challenging and we have a responsibility to save the business and lives. This can’t be done alone by the minister or government, every institution and individual should come forward to join hands,” he said.
Finance Secretary Shishir Kumar Dhungana said that the economy was in a weak state and hard work was needed to increase the development expenditure and reduce trade deficit.
Meanwhile, the MoF has sought clarification from the Chairman of the Securities Board of Nepal (SEBON), Bhisma Raj Dhungana, about the purchase of shares of Sarbottam Cement Limited, a company that is planning to issue Initial Public Offering (IPO) through book building – a method to set price through the proposals from underwriters.
Saying that the Ministry’s attention had been drawn to the media reports related to the board, it has instructed to present a detailed report on it within three days.
There were media reports about the possible ‘insiders trading’ of the shares of Sarbottam Cement whereby Dhungana’s daughter Rebika Dhungana procured 11,992 units of shares.
Rebika lives in the United States of America and media reports claimed that the shares were bought by Dhungana in the name of his daughter.